Army Granting Waivers To Past Drug Users

FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2012, file photo, a person holds a freshly-rolled marijuana joint just after midnight at the Space Needle in Seattle. A new analysis released Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, is challenging the idea that smoking marijuana during adolescence can lead to declines in intelligence. Instead, the new study says, pot smoking may be merely a symptom of some other problem that is really responsible for a brainpower effect seen in some previous research. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Smoked pot? Want to go to war?

No problem.

As more states lessen or eliminate marijuana penalties, the Army is granting hundreds of waivers to enlist people who used the drug in their youth – as long as they realize they can’t do so again in the military.

The number of waivers granted by the active-duty Army for marijuana use jumped to more than 500 this year from 191 in 2016. Three years ago, no such waivers were granted.

The big increase is just one way officials are dealing with orders to expand the Army’s size.

The marijuana use exclusions represent about one-quarter of the total misconduct waivers the Army granted in the budget year that ended Sept. 30.

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